The HardRock Summit in downtown Denver starts today, and one of its components, a little jewel box of a show called Sparkle & Joy, will be taking place at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel Sept. 18–21. Eve Streicker of Original Eve Designs, a familiar face to many jewelry industry folks on the East Coast, will be among the exhibitors. There, she will be officially unveiling her latest collection, A Place Called Home, a bridal capsule largely centered on some very beautiful (and rare) Montana sapphires.
The collection includes five umbrella styles, each named after, and borrowing motifs from, five of the places Streicker has called home, from the stately Upper West Side of New York City to the purple mountains of Williamstown, Mass., to her family’s home on the beach in Westport, Mass., where she was hunkered down for most of the pandemic (with her beloved black Lab, Fiona, as company).
People talk about “pandemic projects” and for Streicker, hers was a spate of deeply personal and creatively satisfying bespoke engagement rings for private clients.
“I am truly a people person, and having the opportunity to interact with clients directly during quarantine was an incredible experience,” she says. “It felt like my clients were more focused on the things and people who matter most to them and they wanted to capture important milestones and relationships with jewelry—both new designs to cement relationships with engagements and also redesigning jewelry to honor a lost loved one, family ties, or renew vows.
“Every time I make a custom piece, I feel so lucky to be invited into my clients’ lives and hear their stories. We use jewelry to mark our most meaningful moments, and knowing that the art I create is not only wearable, but also such a valuable tool for reliving moments and capturing feelings makes me absolutely love my job.”
Streicker did a soft launch of the bridal capsule this summer at Reliable Gold, a prominent jeweler in Providence, R.I., where I had a chance to preview it. As in the best bridal collections coming from independent designers, it’s the small details and flourishes that draw you in. Elegantly tapered shoulders, sexy knife edges, silky matte finishes, delicate granules, and millegrain-accented borders, all in a really rich shade of recycled gold, come into focus when you look at the rings closely and try them on.
The engagement ring designs, says Streicker, borrow elements of some of her favorite bespoke engagement ring projects to become ready-to-ship concepts that a retailer could easily order. “I also tapped into designs that I have been creating and holding onto, drafts of things that have taken different directions, and a huge folder of inspiration jewelry from throughout the ages,” she says.
But selecting the stones for the capsule was Streicker’s favorite part of the project. As a Graduate Gemologist who has studied art and art history and has previously worked for Tiffany & Co., auction houses, and estate buyers, she has always been fascinated by color and the physics of light.
“I received large parcels of stones and went through stone by stone to pick gems that spoke to me for their manipulation of light, interesting color, and cut,” she says. “I have always naturally gravitated towards blues, greens, and grays. I think this preference was amplified during the pandemic, as I was living on a barrier island, surrounded by water and blue-gray skies. The color palette you see in the collection is soothing to me and borrowed directly from the color scheme outside my window.”
The stones come from a few sources, but the Montana (and one rogue Australian) sapphires that are over 0.2 ct. all come from lapidary artist John Dyer, best known for his Starbrite cut.
“Every Dyer gemstone is a unique work of art,” Streicker says.
Streicker’s participation in Sparkle & Joy marks her first trade show appearance since the AGTA Gem Fair in Tucson in February 2020.
“I am looking forward to seeing what feedback I receive in Denver,” she says. “At the moment, I am interested in learning which styles and stones get the most traction because the hope is to be able to lean into bridal more in the future. I’d love to find retail partners to carry my bridal collections or cherry-pick designs that resonate with their clients. It’s such a personal decision, so if someone has a client who would be a perfect match for something they see, that ring belongs with that customer!”
Sparkle & Joy is a unique selling venue in that it’s open to the public. “I learn so much from interacting with clients directly, which is one of the reasons I love doing trunk shows with my retail partners,” Streicker says. “I have a feeling this hybrid model will be a really fun way to get back into the swing of public events.”
Mostly, though, she says: “I am really interested in having conversations and hearing about retailers’ holes and the needs within the bridal market, especially if they are interested in featuring unique gemstones. I would be happy to explore other color schemes, stone types, and shapes in the future.”
Top: Providence engagement ring with 2.51 ct. Montana sapphire center stone in 18k recycled gold, $10,400. (All photos courtesy of Original Eve)
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